University of Guam secures $21.7 million loan for engineering building and student center

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The University of Guam Endowment Foundation has secured a $21.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the expansion and renovation of the student center and construction of a school of engineering.

Last year, the University of Guam unveiled an engineering program that will see students earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering without leaving the island. Initially, UOG engineering students started their studies at UOG then transferred to an offshore university after two years to complete the course. Students pursuing other engineering courses also have to transfer to an offshore university to finish their degrees.

Currently, UOG’s engineering school is in talks with the University of Hawaii to allow Guam students to complete their mechanical engineering degree at UH. Talks are said to be in an advanced stage and an agreement could be unveiled soon.

To reduce the number of students traveling abroad to complete their engineering degrees, the university is set to build a $5.4 million School of Engineering that will accommodate new engineering programs.

The building’s design is already out with its construction said to be delayed due to funding issues. According to Shahram Khosrowpanah, dean of the university’s School of Engineering, construction can only start after sourcing enough funds for the contractor. He added that currently the university’s engineering faculty is housed in temporary office space and shares classrooms with other departments.

The faculty of engineering is eying “ABET” certification

The new engineering school, according to Khosrowpanah, will include laboratories and will be very important in qualifying the UOG engineering program for the “ABET” certification.

While the UOG program WASC accredited, civil engineering graduates from UOG also require “ABET” certification to qualify to become “professional engineers”.  WASC accredited students without “ABET” certification can work as engineers but they cannot sign off any engineering project until they become professionals. The University of Guam’s engineering program currently has around 230 students.